Mario Maker Level design

Nintendo Finally Let’s You Design Your Own Super Mario Levels

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Virtually every person who has ever played Mario games has had ideas how the levels could be improved. Or even better: create their very own levels exactly the way they envisioned them. Nintendo has dropped a bombshell though and will put players in the creator’s seat in Mario Maker for the Wii U. 

Playing the demo version will get you instantly excited. The Wii U’s Gamepad clearly shows it is the perfect controller for a game like this thanks to its touch screen and stylus. And even though the demo only shows a fraction of the game the experience definitely shows the potential this game has (it is at this time unclear what the full game will contain).   

You begin designing by starting out with empty Mario Bros level. This empty canvas is your to create exactly what you want from a Mario platform level. You simply drag each item, enemy or obstacle and move it where you want. You can playtest everything you do just clicking a single button and switch back to editing the same way. 

The levels in Mario games have always been designed cleverly and especially the more difficult levels require real gaming skill. So how do you create a platform height that high, but not too high? That is where another great feature comes in. Each time you switch to playtest you see a transparent shadow trail of the previous play test, whowing where Mario was running and jumping. This allows you to meticulously tweak heights and distances to create the perfect level. 

The editor let’s you create ingenious and complex level design in a very short timespan. Analyse the max distance of a jump and an opportune block in just the right place is simply placed. This especially great if you design your level to played at full speed. Knowing where to place of the items is a lot easier if you can actually see it instead of having to guess the perfect placement. 

I’m already salivating at the idea of having two Bowsers and two Hammer Bros in the same level wreaking havoc. The challenge of creating an important but not impossible level is simply tantalizing. 

Or maybe even playing as Bowser trying to defeat Mario and Luigi. 

Or a level where you control princess Peach and have to escape Bowser’s castle, this time traveling from right to left. 

Or introduce an online multi-player feature where up to 8 people can play in the same level and dash towards the end. 

The possibilities are potentially limitless, depending on how Nintendo implements everything. What the game will provide beyond the editing portion remains a mystery as well since Nintendo did not provide any more details other than what you see in the demo. Super Mario World showed how great a platform musical score can be and here’s hoping that music will be part of the editing process as well.

It is also hasn’t been confirmed which Mario Bros graphics can be used and if sprites from all 2D games can be used randomly. Perhaps gameplay would be an issue here since Super Mario Bros plays very different than Mario Bros 3 or Super Mario World. At the same time, combining all features of all games would open up even more possibilities. A level that slowly progresses from Mario Bros 1 to Super Mario World or even New Super Mario Bros U would be an amazing experience with a slow evolution from 2D to 2.5D. 

How players will be able to share their creations is something Nintendo hasn’t commented on either. But it should hopefully be an important and well constructed feature with little limitations. Being able to freely share content with anyone else is a definite requirement. 

And this insane level certainly needs to be created to determine epic gaming skill:

Let’s hope Nintendo – not always known for their internet embracing attitude – will give full control to its players.

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